KODAK, Tenn. – Newberry’s season came to an end on Sunday afternoon at the 2017 Pilot/Flying J South Atlantic Conference Baseball Championship after a two-out rally by Carson-Newman proved to be the difference in a 12-5 win by the Eagles.
The disastrous inning for Newberry (32-21) began innocently enough, with a groundout and a flyout bookending a single that put one on with two outs for the Eagles (29-24). A slow-rolling single through the left side prompted a pitching change for Newberry, with Barrett Walton coming to the mound to relieve Dylan Southerland after 4.1 innings.
The Eagles quickly worked a pair of walks to drive in their first run of the frame before first baseman Paul Kirby sent an 0-1 fastball into the bar area above the left-center field gap. The grand slam put the Eagles ahead 7-4 and prompted Triplett to look to the bullpen again.
The first pitch from Hunter Hill was crushed by cleanup hitter and catcher Greg Jones, clearing the retaining wall beyond the concourse down the right field line to leave Smokies Stadium entirely.
The Wolves could not recover from the disastrous frame that saw Carson-Newman plate six runs on four hits. The Eagles hit 15 singles in the contest to go with their pair of home runs to lead Newberry 17-10 in the hits column.
Newberry started off the game with a run in the top of the first following a leadoff double by Robert Kosch and a pair of groundouts to the right side of the infield. A two-run single by Jeff Sneed in the fourth inning gave Newberry a 3-2 lead before Cody Ezzell plated a run with a sixth-inning single. Ben Herring also drove in a run on an eighth-inning sacrifice fly.
Sneed finished his day 4-for-4 with a run scored and a pair batted in. He also threw out a would-be base stealer, giving him 14 runners caught stealing on 28 total attempts in the 2017 season and first place in the Newberry record book since the turn of the century with 45 in his career.
Sneed was the only Newberry player to finish with multiple hits as seven Wolves reached base safely. Kosch and Trejon Smith accounted for both of Newberry’s extra-base hits by each recording a double.
Newberry’s senior class departs with 129 wins over the last four seasons, the winningest senior class in school history. The group also became the first in school history to accumulate four consecutive 30-win seasons. The Wolves’ No. 3 seed in the SAC Championship represented its second-highest regular-season finish since joining the league prior to the 1997 season.